Student Paper Markup: Quick Parts and Macros


Those responsible for reading and commenting on student papers know that there are certain comments that get made over and over.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to store these in Word, and insert them into the student paper (or a Review annotation to the student paper) with a single keystroke?  There is with Quick Parts and Macros.  This post demonstrates how.

Quick Parts

First, open a Word document and type the comments you typically enter on student papers.  You may want to save this document and add to it as you think of others later.  To make quick parts out of each of your comments, highlight them, one at a time, and go to the Insert tab.  Click the drop-down under Quick Parts and select “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery…”

Save To Quick Parts

Note that you can specially format the text before placing it in the Quick Parts Gallery.  For example, if you intend to insert your comments in-line with student text you might want to highlight it with a color so that it will stand out from the rest of the text before placing it in the Gallery.

Run-on Sentence

When you click Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery… the Create New Building Block dialog will appear.  You can provide a short, memorable name for the Quick Part (this is important if you wish to find it later among a long list of building block items), select the gallery in which it belongs (no need to change it from the Quick Parts gallery), categorize it (this might be useful with a specialized collection of Quick Parts).  The Options drop-down allows for: 1) Insert content only; 2) Insert content in its own paragraph; or 3) Insert content in its own page.  If you will be marking up papers in-line, you will probably want to leave this set to Insert content only, but if you are using the Word Review feature to mark-up papers you will probably want to change this to Insert content in its own paragraph.

After you have built-up your gallery, you may want to add it to the quick access tool bar so that it is always available to you at the top of the ribbon.  Right-click the Quick Parts command and choose “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.”

Add To Quick Access

Now your comments are available to you from the top of the Word screen.

Comment Drop Down


If you want to take the process a step further, you can record Macros for each of the commands, so that pressing some mnemonic keystroke combination will insert the comment.  Here’s how.

With your insertion point anywhere in a document, click on the View tab, click the drop-down under Macros, and select Record Macro….

Record Macro

The Record Macro dialog box.  I would recommend naming the Macro same as the Quick Part, adding a comment, storing in Normal.dotm, and assigning a Keyboard shortcut.

Set Up Macro

The key to success is picking a mnemonic keystroke.  For example, I chose Ctrl+Shift+R for the run-on sentence comment.  Using the same keyboard modifiers (Ctrl+Shift) and then mnemonic first letter is a good strategy.

Now record the motions of going to the Insert tab, clicking the Quick Parts drop-down, and selecting the run-on sentence comment.  Then go to the View tab, Macros tool, and click Stop Recording.

From now on, each time you press Ctrl+Shift+R your run-on sentence comment will be inserted.  Suddenly life becomes a whole lot easier.